If employers want to gain an edge in the war for talent, research suggests offering support for working parents is a good place to start.

A new survey* of 2,000 working parents with children aged 18 or under, commissioned by REC Parenting –  an online platform offering support to parents and carers – reveals more than 9 out of 10 working parents say it’s important when considering a new job.

As around 40% of the UK workforce are parents to dependent children, they represent a significant slice of the employee market.

The results highlight employer support is important to both working mothers and fathers. While more than half of working mothers say it is very important, 89% of working fathers say it is very important or important to them too. This reflects the changing role of parents in the UK, with fathers taking on a far more hands-on role. They want to be there when their children need it the most and to work for an employer who understands and supports this desire.

Employer support is particularly important to those employees who work part-time. Many reduce their hours because of childcare responsibilities and they want to work for organisations that value their contribution and understand their commitments outside of the workplace. 58% of respondents who work part-time said it would be very important for them when considering a prospective employer and only 5% said it was not very important or not important at all for them.

The survey also reveals the potential consequences of not having effective support for working parents in place. 40% of respondents said they have considered quitting their jobs as they find it difficult to manage their work and caring responsibilities. Those employers who do provide effective support are not only likely to attract working parents but retain those already within their workforce.

Dr Ana Aznar, Founder & CEO of REC Parenting, said

Working parents make up a significant proportion of the UK workforce and it’s vital that employers recognise the pressure they are under by offering both empathy and support. With almost a million vacancies still open, employers can gain a real competitive advantage by creating a culture and workplace that supports people in all aspects of their lives. Employee retention has been cited as the biggest challenge for HR in 2024 and providing support for working parents should be considered as part of the strategy to address this threat.

Dr Ana Aznar, Founder & CEO of REC Parenting

A full report, Empowering parents and caregivers at work: A blueprint for employers which details the complete findings of the survey can be downloaded at www.recparenting.com/business

*OnePoll survey commission by REC Parenting with 2,000 working parents with children aged 18 and under, July 2023.

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.